God is.

Habakkuk 3: 17-19

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no heard in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instrument.

This passage reminded me that the reason I can find joy in all circumstances is not because the circumstances are joyful, but because my joy stems from the mere existence of my God. This has inspired me to “get back to the basics”. My analytical mind so often wants to reveal the grandeur of God and often neglects the simple, childlike faith we are called to. My joy is in this simple fact: GOD IS.

In meditating on these verses I was very intrigued when reading the King James version of Habakkuk 3:18 because it reads:

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

The word “yet” shows clear intention that “in spite of his current circumstance” he will rejoice, or exult, or triumph in the Lord. But then it goes on to say he will “joy” in the Lord. Now, we do not use the word “joy” as a verb today so I was very intrigued to find out the meaning of this word. To “joy” in the Lord is to rejoice OR to tremble (from fear – I would see this fear as a display of reverence). In verse 16 Habakkuk was distressed and it says “I trembled in MYSELF, that I might rest in the day of trouble”. This shows a clearly disquieted spirit and one that is relying on self. The references for the word tremble in verse 16: to quake, be disquieted, be excited, be perturbed, to cause to quake, disquiet, enrage, disturb, to excite ONESELF – these are not words of joy. However, by verse 18 Habakkuk says he will “joy in the LORD”. It is such a perfect parrallel that he would move from trembling in himself and in search of rest to trembling in the Lord in an act of rejoicing. The same verb – trembling – has been transformed solely by the Lord’s sovereignty…what was once sickening through self reliance became rejoicing in God’s presence. Habakkuk’s circumstance hadn’t changed, but his heart had.

*The above meaning were taken from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. This is an invaluable reference tool to use in order to discover the true Greek and Hebrew meanings of Biblical text. An online version of the concordance, along with many other reference and Bible study tools may be accessed here.

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